Hard – Relentless – hard.
Distance: 12km return
Elevation Gain: 800m
Time: 3-4 hours
Now lets talk about a “hike” lol, THIS. WAS. A. CHALLENGE. Ok, maybe not if we were just hiking to the lake and back, however, we did so much more because my brother insisted that this was his favourite place to camp in Nordegg (insert eye roll here). So, three of us singles, packed up 3 tents, 3 mats, 3 stoves, 3 cameras, 3 sleeping bags, 3 pillows, and due to the always predicted rain, 3 sets of clothing…. EACH! As a result, each pack weighed at least 40lbs. Smart right…. (insert another eye roll here). It will all be worth it, we thought In our minds, after all, my brother has done this hike a few times and says its amazing! Great views, great trail, great Lake, secluded, he says. Well, truth be told, he didn’t disappoint, all of these things were absolutely true. He just neglected to mention that the trail is straight up the whole time. Minus a mini dip in the canyon and a small section through the meadow crossing where you can branch to either Kinglet Lake or Tuff Puff hike. An alternative, if you think you want a really big day, is to do the unmarked loop from Tuff Puff down to the lake. However, if you are planning on doing this, keep in mind that there is no trail here and there is some really sketchy sections to pass. It is dangerous, no question. but it has been done before. Keep your eyes on the lake once you cross the ridge line and start heading down where you feel is safe. This is NOT recommended for everyone, experienced and equipped hikers only!
We took the trail directly to the lake and it was steep, especially with the packs. In all reality, we could have easily done this hike in day packs with no problem, but to stay overnight here was the ultimate goal! Once we arrived at the lake, we found there are plenty of designated “sites”, meaning they are not controlled by parks but people have made flat ground and fire pitted areas for others to use. Please stay in these areas for the sake of leaving no other trace. You are free to camp wherever, but why step and destroy more of nature than you need to. There plenty of spots lake side or back in the trees away from the waters.
Bring your fishing rod!!! The one thing I regret not bringing because I didn’t want to haul it up but apparently thought 4 sweaters was a better idea WRONG LEAH, WRONG (once again, insert the eye roll). I should have brought the darn fishing pole! They were rising like crazy all day and night!! It was a beautiful site, you can see them swimming the shores because the waters are so very clear. Don’t forget to make sure you have a valid fishing license 🙂
Overall this was truly a great hike and camping spot. We had the whole lake to ourselves as we went up on a Sunday. We did pass a group of 9 that had stayed the 2 nights prior. If your too nervous to be alone up there, be sure to pick a weekend to go when others are sure to be around. If you want privacy, head up any other day! This is also good as a day hike, no need to spend the night, but definitely worth it if you can!!
And always please remember….
Don’t Speed – Don’t Feed
Save our Wildlife
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